Liverpool Community Health (LCH) NHS Trust have launched a staff-wide foodbank appeal to help support members of the local community who find themselves in crisis and without food this Christmas.
Staff from across the region are being encouraged to donate non–perishable food items to collection points located around a number of the Trust’s staff buildings throughout the region, and health staff here in Sefton have been enthusiastically getting involved in lots of creative ways.
LCH’s Safeguarding Children Team based at Burlington House in Crosby decided to donate food to North Liverpool Foodbank instead of sending Christmas cards this year, whilst Sefton’s Community Food Workers team are organising a permanent collection point at Optoplast in Maghull for a foodbank in Southport.
The UK’s leading foodbank charity, The Trussell Trust has reported an astonishing 100% rise in the number of people needing to access support from foodbanks nationally over the past 12 months, and in Merseyside these figures are rising all the time.
Bernie Cuthel, Chief Executive of Liverpool Community Health explains: “Everyday people in the communities where we live and work experience food poverty because of problems such as sudden redundancy, high or unexpected bills, and delays in benefits payment.
“Many of our staff work in frontline community healthcare roles and regularly see families who are affected by these issues, so as a Trust we decided that we wanted to do more to help families that are struggling this winter.
“We launched a simple appeal for food donations a few weeks ago, and so far the response back from our staff has been just incredible.”
More than 30 large boxes of food have already been donated by NHS staff since Liverpool Community Health’s foodbank appeal was launched just last month.
Over the coming days the Trust will be delivering the food packages to local foodbanks across the region.
A number of staff members from the Trust have also volunteered in their own time to go and lend a helping hand at their local foodbank distribution centres.
The Trust will also be continuing to run its food collection points in staff buildings throughout the Christmas period and into the new year.
Joanne Wilson, a Specialist Dietician Community Food Worker for Liverpool Community Health is one of the staff members who is helping to organise the appeal. She explains: “We’ve been inviting our community health staff working in communities across Sefton to drop any non-perishable food items such as soups, cereal, pasta, or toiletries items such as tooth paste, soap, shampoo to Optoplast in Maghull, so we can donate them all to local foodbanks.”
She adds, “This is an ongoing scheme which will run throughout the Christmas period and on into next year, and will hopefully help many local families who are going through hard times.”
For more information about Foodbanks, please visit: www.trusselltrust.org